Rojo the Llama
Rojo the Llama was a llama and therapy animal based in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. His handler was Shannon Joy of Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas and Alpacas, also known as the "Llama Mama". He was named after his red coloring ("rojo" means "red" in Spanish).
Rojo was a show animal in a 4-H program and entered Dove Lewis' Animal-Assisted Therapy Training program at the age of 5. He was the grand marshal of Portland's Junior Rose Festival in 2013, and appeared at the city's Grand Floral Parade in 2019. Joy raised more than $8,000 to publish a children's book about Rojo called Rojo, The Perfectly Imperfect Llama. In 2018, Joy and Rojo appeared at the Ilani Casino Resort to audition for the twentieth season of the reality television series Big Brother.
Rojo has been described as "Portland's most famous therapy animal". In 2019, after being a therapy animal for twelve years, Rojo retired and returned to his owner's Ridgefield, Washington farm. After experiencing declining health, Rojo died on the morning of November 6, 2019. His owners are having his body preserved and donated to the wildlife safari room at the Washington School for the Blind.
- Hubbard, Kaia (June 6, 2019). "Rojo the Llama, Portland's Most Beloved Therapy Animal, Is Retiring". Willamette Week. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- Littman, Adam (January 30, 2016). "Bits 'n' Pieces: Kids' book tells story of Rojo the llama". The Columbian. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- Bresnahan, Samantha (March 15, 2016). "Let a llama take your troubles away". CNN. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- Kilstrom, Andrew (February 16, 2017). "Llama invasion! Rojo makes surprise visit to Bolton". West Linn Tidings. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- Harlan, Kohr (March 12, 2018). "Rojo the Llama to make appearance at 'Big Brother' audition". KOIN. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- "Rojo the llama to retire after 12 years of spreading joy". KOIN. June 5, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- "Rojo, Portland's beloved therapy llama, passes away from health problems". KATU. November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
- Rojo the Llama is Announced as Grand Marshal for the Junior Parade (May 29, 2013), Portland Rose Festival
- Rojo the Llama in studio (October 24, 2016), KGW